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Danny Cohen on audibility and why clear sound matters

This week BBC Vision's Audibility project, looking at the facts behind the complaints we get about sound, has come to a conclusion. Three main messages have emerged:

  • Plan for sound before you begin production
  • Audibility issues are often about a combination of factors so look out for them
  • Be careful about how you use music. Age-related hearing loss can begin as early as the forties, something few people recognise. Reducing the music under dialogue by just 1 point on the PPM meter (4DB) can allow people with moderate hearing loss to understand what's been said. 

BBC One Controller Danny Cohen has written in more detail about why we need a best practice guide to clear sound. You can find his article on the Academy's College of Production site. You'll also find a series of films there by respected industry experts giving tips on how to produce great sound so your show can be heard by the biggest audience possible whilst keeping your editorial vision intact.

Danny has also written a TV blog where you can find more insights and also join the debate: Is the background music too loud?

Please do also take a look at the BBC's editorial guidelines website for more information on hearing impaired audiences.

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